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Cell Microbiol. 2001 Dec;3(12):785-93.

Coronin is involved in uptake of Mycobacterium bovis BCG in human macrophages but not in phagosome maintenance.

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Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Imperial College School of Medicine, St. Mary's Campus, London, UK.


By applying density gradient electrophoresis (DGE) to human macrophages infected with Mycobacterium bovis BCG, we were able to separate three different bacterial fractions representing arrested phagosomes, phagolysosomes and mycobacterial clumps. After further purification of the phagosomal population, we found that isolated phagosomes containing live BCG were arrested in maturation as they exhibited only low amounts of the lysosomal glycoprotein LAMP-1 and processing of the lysosomal hydrolase cathepsin D was blocked. In addition, low amounts of MHC class I and class II molecules and the absence of HLA-DM suggest sequestration of mycobacterial phagosomes from antigen-processing pathways. We further investigated the involvement of the actin-binding protein coronin in intracellular survival of mycobacteria and showed that human coronin, as well as F-actin, were associated with early stages of mycobacterial phagocytosis but not with phagosome maintenance. Therefore, we conclude that the unique DGE migration pattern of arrested phagosomes is not as a result of retention of coronin, but that there are other proteins or lipids responsible for the block in maturation in human macrophages.

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